French Bakery-Pâtisserie Paul Opens in Tbilisi

Tbilisians this Saturday welcomed the opening of the first branch of French bakery chain Paul to Georgia, on Abashidze Str. 36. The famous brand bakery-pâtisserie will add a second supplier of top quality bread and pastry products to the market, joining its rival Entrée (here since 2008). With a capacity of up to 120 guests, the new Paul café is spread across two floors with separate sections for smokers and non-smokers. As well as tasty food and drink typical of a bakery-pâtisserie, Paul will also be offering a restaurant menu. Doors are open from 8am till 11pm.

Pascal Meunier, the French Ambassador to Georgia, was present at the opening. “I’d like to congratulate Georgia on this day,” he said. “Thanks to Paul you will get acquainted not only with a true world brand but with real French pastry!”

Agricultural worker Charlemagne Mayot became responsible for the beginnings of the now world-famous Paul brand when he established a bakery back in 1889 in the northern French city of Croix. Julien Holder married the granddaughter of Charlemagne Mayot and in 1935 the couple opened their own bakery in Lille. The Holders and their son Francis then acquired a better known bakery-pâtisserie owned by the Paul family, and kept the name.

Francis Holder took over the family bakery upon his father’s death and with his mother expanded the business, eventually supplying bread to the Nouvelles Galeries (opened in 1965), Auchan and Monoprix, from his bakery in Lambersart. In 1970 he purchased an abandoned industrial site in the suburbs of Lille and transformed it into a giant bakery.

The 1972 installation of a wood stove at the original Lille bakery proved so popular that, as the Paul chain expanded into French malls in Paris and other major French cities, wood stoves were incorporated into the general layout. Aside from a re-design in 1993 (to the now-signature black), the layout and visual aesthetic of Paul stores has not changed.

While it started out as a pure bread-baker, Paul now offers its customers a variety of breads, cakes, sandwiches, macaroons, crêpes, soups, pastries, wine, coffee and beer. It operates over 436 cafes in more than 30 countries, now including Georgia.

Meri Talishvili

16 May 2016 19:45